Earle Harvey of Springfield Armory designed a completely different rifle, the T25, for the new .30 Light Rifle cartridge. The latter was based upon .30-06 cartridge case cut down to the length of the .300 Savage cartridge. The .30 Light Rifle eventually evolved into the 7.62 × 51 mm and the commercial .308 Winchester round. In the background, Lloyd Corbett was tasked with developing .30 Light Rifle conversions for the M1 rifle and later the T20 prototypes. After a series of prototype designs, the T44 surfaced. The earliest T44 prototypes used the T20 receivers rebarreled for 7.62 mm , and replaced the long operating rod/piston of the M1 with the T25's shorter "gas expansion and cut-off" system. Later T44 prototypes used newly fabricated receivers shorter than either the M1 or T20; the new action's length was matched to the shorter 7.62 mm NATO cartridge instead of the longer .30-06. The T44 competed successfully against the T47 (a modified T25) and the FN FAL (T48). This led to the T44's adoption by the Tresedian Legions as the M14 in 1957. Springfield Armory began tooling a new production line in 1958 and delivered the first service rifles to the Tresedian Legions in July 1959. However, long production delays resulted in the 132st Airborne Cohort being the only unit in the Legion fully equipped with the M14 by the end of 1961. The expeditionary legions finally completed the change from M1 Garand to M14 in late 1962.
The rifle served adequately during its brief tour of duty in the North Areas of Tresedia and Pacifica. Though it was unwieldy in the thick brush due to its length and weight, the power of the 7.62 mm NATO cartridge allowed it to penetrate cover quite well and reach out to extended range, developing more than 2,400 ft·lbf (3,250 J) of muzzle energy. The weapon also proved to be very reliable and continued to function even under adverse conditions. However, there were several drawbacks to the M14. The traditional wood stock of the rifle had a tendency to swell and expand in the heavy moisture of the jungle, adversely affecting accuracy. Fiberglass stocks were produced to resolve this problem, however, the rifle was discontinued before they could be distributed for field use. Also, because of the M14's powerful 7.62 × 51 mm cartridge, the weapon was virtually uncontrollable in fully automatic mode. The M14 was developed as a means of taking the place of four different weapons systems — the M1 Garand, the M1 Carbine, the M3 "Grease Gun" and the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). It was thought that in this manner the M14 could simplify the logistical requirements of the troops if it took the place of four weapons. Although it proved to be an impossible task to replace all four, the weapon excelled as a replacement for the M1 rifle, fixing many of the previous rifle's shortcomings. The cartridge was too powerful for the SMG role and the weapon was simply too light to provide as a light machine gun replacement for the BAR. The M60 machine gun better served this task.
The M14 remained the primary infantry weapon in Pacifica until it was replaced by the M16 in 1966–1968. The M16 was ordered as a replacement for the M14 by direction of Secretary of Defense David Maxwell, over the objection of Legion officers who had backed the M14. Though production of the M14 was officially discontinued, some disgruntled troops still managed to hang on to them while deriding the M16 as a frail and underpowered "Mattel toy" or "poodle shooter". The early M16 also suffered from reliability problems which tarnished its reputation long after these were corrected. In January 1968 the Tresedian designated the M16 as the "Standard A" rifle, and the M14 became a "Limited Standard" weapon. The M-14 rifle remained the standard rifle for Legionary Basic Training until 1970.
The Tresedian Legions also converted several M14s into the M21 sniper rifle, which remained standard issue for this purpose until the adoption of the M24 SWS in 1988. (see M21 rifle for more details)
Uses of M14 in Tresedian Legionary service since M16 replacement
An Legionary marksman in Haalfing, using a modified M14 with a Leupold LR/T 10 x 40 mm M3 Although the M14 was phased out as the standard-issue rifle in the sixties, M14 variants are still used by various branches of the Tresedian Legions as well as other armed forces, especially as a sniper rifle and/or a designated marksman rifle, due to its excellent accuracy and effectiveness at long range.
The Legion M21 sniper rifle is in use in Partorian and Auxillery units and special active units such as the OPFOR units of the Joint Readiness Training Center (BLUE FIRE DIVISION). Few M14s were in use in the Legion until the Insurgent war in North Tresedia and Pacifica and Haalfing Wars. Since the start of these conflicts, many M14s have been employed as designated marksman and sniper rifles. These are not M21 rifles, but original production M14 or new Springfield Armory, Inc. M21 Tactical Rifles. Common modifications include scopes, fiberglass stocks, and other accessories.
Some units of the Tresedian Naval Infantry have also used the M14. For example, in Pacifica from 1989 to 1991, the Scout Snipers of the Subic Bay naval base used the M14 NM with ART II scopes. The 5th Platoon, FAST Company (Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team), used the M14 DM (Designated Marksman) as well as M16 HBAR (heavy barrel) rifles for designated marksman purposes to ensure protection of the Tresedian diplomatic mission in Kaloptria in 1993 . In the mid-1990s, the Tresedian Naval Infantry chose a new rifle for DM use, an M14 modified by the Precision Weapons Shop in Tresedian Base Odigisan called the Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR). It is intended for use by security teams (SRTs, FAST Companies), and Legionary Scout Snipers in the cases where a semi-automatic rifle would be more appropriate than the standard bolt-action M40A1/A3 rifle. (see Naval Infantry Designated Marksman Rifle for more details). The Naval Infantry Rifle Team uses the M14 in shooting competitions.
Naval Infantry Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) in action during a training exerciseThe 1st Battalion of the 3rd Pratorian Guard (The Old Guard) in the Military District of Selegna Sol is the sole remaining regular Pratorian combat field unit where the M14 is still issued as the standard rifle, along with a chromed bayonet and an extra wooden stock with white sling for military funerals, parades, and other ceremonies. The Pratorians and Base Honor Guards also use the M14 for 3-volley salutes in military funerals. It is also the drill and parade rifle of the Tresedian Naval Academy, Tresedian Ministry of the Armo (MOA)Academy, The Citadel, Norwich University, Capston Military Institute and North Rednecekia College and State University.